Southeast Missouri State University Press

Southeast Missouri State University

Character Readings

Bern Mulvey

Winner of 2011 Copperdome Poetry Chapbook Contest
Publication: 2012
Pages: 34

An excerpt from “Cleaning Up”

I fill boxes
until I’m out of boxes
and I lie on the floor
waiting for my brother to come,
waiting for more boxes.

My wife was thorough. There’s nothing
of theirs, not a toy, not a sock,
not a hair. Later, I may admire her
efficiency, how after ten years,
she could move so easily,
removing excess with a surgeon’s skill,
until I am left,
must pack my stuff, must leave
our home by tomorrow.


Bern Mulvey was educated at the University of Redlands (BA), California State University San Bernardino (MA), Sarah Lawrence College (MFA), and the University of Missouri-Columbia (PhD). He lives and works in Iwate, Japan.

Poems by Bern Mulvey have appeared in Poetry, Agni, Field, Beloit Poetry Journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, Runes, Fine Madness, River City, Snake Nation Review, and Poetry East. His poetry collection, The Fat Sheep Everyone Wants, won the 2007 Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize. His chapbook, The Window Tribe, won the 2004 White Eagle Coffee Store Chapbook Prize.

Chapbook, $6.00
ISBN: 978-0-9830504-4-5